Thanksgiving Blessings

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Sometimes my days are really long and really hard!  But, I have been thinking a lot lately about how grateful I am that I don’t have to work and I am able to stay home with my children.  This week Ella signed me up to bring over four dozen rolls in to her class for their Thanksgiving feast.  The night before I had to make them, I was so tempted to run to the store and purchase them.  It would be so much faster and easier!  I thought about how that would disappoint Ella.  She loves my homemade rolls and that is what she was hoping from me.  I thought about how there is nothing more important that I could do with my time than making my daughter happy.  I made the rolls because I am blessed to be able to stay home and make rolls.  That is something I could do for her so why would I not do it?  I knew it would make her happy and that is what makes me happy.

There are things in my kids lives that I don’t have to miss.  There are times that they need me and I get to be there for them.  I get to take my kids to school every day so they don’t have to ride the bus two hours a day.  On picture day last month as it was pouring rain, I got to walk them to the door one by one under my umbrella.  I got to take Ella to school one morning only to come home and find that she had left her homework folder along with two days worth of homework on the counter.  I got to go back to the school and take it to her so she didn’t have to go to study room during recess.  I get to see the pure joy in Brennen’s eyes as he says goodbye to his preschool class everyday when I pick him up.  I get to snuggle with my baby Griffin every day.  I got to help with Preston’s fall party and see how my shy son raised his hand to answer a question which I know takes much courage for him.  I got to make over four dozen homemade rolls for Ella’s class.

For those reasons and many many more, I am grateful!

Grateful

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I have not enjoyed very much this summer.  I am pregnant with our fourth child and I have felt horrible all summer.  I was sick with the other three kids but nothing like this.  I spent most of my summer laying in bed hoping the nausea would go away.  We ate out more in July than I think my kids ever have in their lives.  They were beginning to think that McDonald’s is a regular dietary staple.  My house has not been taken care of as I would have liked.  The kids have watched more tv than ever before.  I am slacking in my scripture study and other spiritual areas.  I could go on and on, but I know we all have times like this in our lives.  There are times when we either don’t feel well physically or emotionally and just need to take a little time out.  I also know that things will get better and that Heavenly Father does not forget us.  I know that no matter how we feel, he sends us what we need when we need it.

I am grateful for a husband who didn’t mind coming home from work and picking up my slack and picking up the house!  I am grateful for a friend who sensed our needs and brought my family a wonderful home cooked meal on a day that I just couldn’t bear to eat fast food again.  I am grateful that I was able to quit work to stay home full time with my kids.  I am grateful we will soon have another child in our family.  I am grateful for this beautiful sunset we experienced one night at my parent’s home.

It’s easy to sit and wallow in our pain.  But, when we think of all we are grateful for, it makes things much easier to bear.

I am a Mother

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I am a pharmacist.  I went to college for five long and grueling years.  I always knew I didn’t want a career.  I always wanted to stay at home with my children.  My fellow students all thought I was crazy to put myself through the torture of pharmacy school when I didn’t want to work full time when I graduated.  Well, when I did graduate, I worked full time for a few years to help Phil finish school and get his career started.  Then I went to part time after I had my first child.  My mom watched Ella, then Preston, then Brennen as I worked 1-3 days a week.  I never had to continue working.  It was just something I did because I could.  I always felt I had the best of both worlds because I still felt like a stay at home mom.  I only worked part time and my kids weren’t going to a babysitter.  I also felt like I got out into the “real world” a few days a week and was able to contribute to the family income.

Well, earlier this year I started feeling a little stressed with the three kids, work, house, and the prospects of having another baby.  I knew in my heart that I needed to quit work completely.  I kept feeling this way and knew something had to be done.  When Phil and I found out we were expecting another baby, we knew it was time for me to say goodbye to work for a while.

I didn’t think it would be so hard for me to give up especially since I only worked part time and I was excited to spend more time with my kids at home.  But, it was tough.  I started working there when I was 16.  As you can see by the photo above that I have worked there exactly half of my life!   That is a long time.  The economy is really bad right now too and I felt nervous about quitting a good job when so many people are looking for work.  When I expressed this concern to Phil, he said, “Heavenly Father’s ways are not the ways of the world.”  That really made me think.  I know that logically with the economy the way it is, I should work and continue to contribute to the family income.  But, I know that Heavenly Father wants me to stay home with my kids and teach them His ways.  I know my family will be blessed because of this and that makes me happy.  So, for now I am a mother!

Here is a video that I love:

A New Calling

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I was called to be the Relief Society President for our branch at church.  I am scared to death to take on this much responsibility for the sisters that I will serve.  I was given a huge stack of paperwork to go through and this is what I narrowed it down to.  I still have a lot to read and a lot to learn!  I knew for some time that this calling was coming.  The Lord gives us what we need and I needed time to prepare!  I pray that with His help I will be able to serve in the way He would want me to.

Time Out!

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This weekend I attended Time Out For Women with my mom, sister Mallory, sister Miranda, and sister-in-law Bekah.  It was wonderful!  The guys stayed home with the kids (thank you!) and we spent the night away.  I had so much fun.  One of the highlights of the weekend was when we went to a small cafe to eat lunch before the program started.  When we walked in we saw three presenters, Kim Nelson, Kris Belcher, Emily Watts, and the musical presenter Hilary Weeks at the table next to us!  We were so excited and I finally asked for a photo.  They were so kind to us.  The rest of the weekend just got better from there.  We laughed, we cried, we talked.  I am thankful for this weekend away with the girls in my family and look forward to doing it again next year!

The theme for Time Out was “Sweet Assurance.”  The presenters spent the two days getting us to think about things that we know for sure.  They told us to write them down and try to add to our list.  I don’t know a lot but I do know a few things for sure.

I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and takes care of my needs.
I know that my parents, husband, and children love me too.
I know that the spirit of God is real.  I have felt it too many times in my life to deny it.

When you get a second, take some time out and write down some things you know for sure!

A Getaway

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Sometimes the best part about being a parent is getting away from the kids for a few days!  Phil took me to West Baden Springs Hotel this past weekend.  We had a wonderful time.  We spent a few days talking, shopping, eating, hiking, going on a carriage ride, laying by the pool and getting massages.  We also had a good time learning about the history of the hotel.  The trees and flowers were all starting to bloom and Phil spent an afternoon following me around as I photographed all the blossoms.  We had a great time!

Grandma’s Hands

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I love my Grandma’s hands.  I have loved them for as long as I can remember.  As A child I would run my finger along her long, bumpy, blue veins.  I would trace them along their paths and wonder if my hands would someday look like hers.  As I stare at this photo I think of all the things she had done for me with her hands.

–She bathed me many times as a child.  Whenever I smell Ivory soap or vinegar I think of her bathtub.  (I’m still not sure why she put vinegar in our bath water!)
–She scratched my back as I laid in her lap.  (This one was my favorite)
–She drew us tons of silly cartoons.  She is a great artist but loved to draw funny cartoons for us.  There was never a tv guide in her house that didn’t have mustaches and blacked out teeth drawn on all the celebrity’s faces.  When the disgusting “Garbage Pail Kids” cards were popular, she drew us her own version.  (I wish I still had copies of them!)
–She played the “Boogie Woogie” and other fun songs on the piano.  She plays by ear and played any song we wanted.
–She baked cookies with us.  The fun part about this one is that she let us make up our own recipes-even if they included applesauce and ritz crackers and cheddar cheese and candy pieces!

I could go on all day, but the most important thing she did for me with her hands was take care of my Grandpa.  She set the most wonderful example for me as to what a marriage is all about.  It is about serving and loving each other.  My Grandpa was not in the best of health, especially during his last few years.  My favorite memory is watching her put his socks and shoes on him because he couldn’t do it himself.

I love all my grandparents but I have a special place in my heart for my Grandma’s hands.

Thirty

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This is what thirty looks like!

Phil brought home dinner and a cake for my birthday.  He insisted on putting all thirty candles on the cake!

Here’s a list of thirty things I love:

My family
My home (especially when it’s clean)
Spending time with Phil
My education
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Snow days when you can’t leave your house
Organizing
Being creative
When my kids tell me thank you
My craft area
My laptop
When I try a new recipe and it tastes really good
Backrubs
Being barefoot
Reading
Laying by the pool on very hot days
Being able to stay home with my kids six days a week
Being able to get out and work one day a week
When I have an empty calendar and am able to stay home all week
When all the kids are in bed for the night
When the kids sleep in until 7:00am (very rare but nice)
Cooking
Vegetables
Wearing comfy clothes
Daisies
Listening to books on tape or the Ensign on my mp3 player
My minivan
My backyard
Eating Sunday dinner at my parent’s house
My life!

What I am Grateful For Today…

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-Ella picking me wild flowers from the side of the road today (and not from our neighbors flower beds this time!)
-My wonderful husband Phil who works hard to support our family
-Preston telling me “Not today mommy,” when I asked him to take a nap (I would much rather him take a nap but it was so cute!)
-Brennen’s laughter when I kiss his neck
-The beautiful summer weather
-My clean house
The gospel of Jesus Christ
-My mom and sisters who baby sit for me whenever I need it
-Spending time tonight with the women at church learning to bake bread at a Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Meeting
-My love of organizing, cooking, and photography
-Being able to take my kids to the library and their love for books